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Extinction

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MatC
155849.  Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:20 am Reply with quote

Perhaps we should have a list of things which used to be extinct ... but aren’t any more.

“A small wetland bird believed to have been extinct for more than 130 years has been found in a sewage treatment site in Thailand, an ornithologist said Wednesday.
Philip Round, manager of conservation projects at Mahidol University in Bangkok, said he stumbled across the large-billed reed warbler in March 2006 at the water treatment project in the province of Phetchaburi.”
- http://uk.news.yahoo.com/07032007/323/extinct-bird-found-thailand.html

“Researchers exploring a Colombian mountain range found surviving members of a species of Harlequin frog believed extinct due to a killer fungus wiping out amphibian populations in Central and South America.
The discovery of what could be the last population of the painted frog (Atelopus ebenoides marinkellei) indicates the species has survived the fungus, providing hope that other species also might avoid elimination from the epidemic caused by a pathogenic fungus of unknown origin.”
- http://www.physorg.com/news67178892.html

“A farmer in Holguin province recently discovered an almiqui, a worm-eating, nocturnal creature recently believed to be extinct. The almiqui was last sighted in 1999 and before that in 1977. It's presence in eastern Cuba was first noted by naturalists in the 19th century and since then has been seen only a handful of times.”
- miniurl

“Several years ago, after a routine day chasing butterflies in San Juan Island National Historical Park, John Fleckenstein, a zoologist with Washington State's natural heritage program, packed up his gear, stashed away his findings, then waited six months to revisit his specimens. Perhaps it was fate that a laid-back guy like Fleckenstein would rediscover a go-with-the-flow species whose adaptations to an altered northwestern habitat allowed it to survive when scientists had written it off as extinct for nearly 100 years.”
- miniurl

“Biologists have spotted a Cozumel Thrasher, a Mexican bird some experts had believed to be extinct, an avian group reported Friday. The bird had not been seen for almost a decade but it reappeared last month.”
- miniurl

 
MatC
155851.  Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:23 am Reply with quote

This is the cuddly little Cuban chap ...

 
MatC
155852.  Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:35 am Reply with quote

“Experts thought it's been extinct the last eleven million years. But two researchers have proof that a certain rodent species is alive and well and living in Southeast Asia.
They now have both video and still pictures of the creature, which looks like a small squirrel with dark, dense fur and a long tail that's not as bushy as a squirrel's. The creature also waddles like a duck.
A Florida State University professor and a wildlife biologist from Thailand got the pictures last month in Laos, near the Thai border. Professor David Redfield hopes the evidence will help prevent the animal from really becoming extinct.”
- http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=nation_world&id=4271958

“Biologist Forrest Sessions opened the chute from a huge fish tank, releasing about a thousand robust redhorses into the Wateree River in less than a minute Wednesday.
That’s about a thousand more of that fish species than anybody found in the Wateree in the past century.
Like a fish version of the ivory-billed woodpecker, this distinctive large species was feared extinct and lived mainly in the dreams of biologists for decades. Also, like the famous woodpeckers, a small robust redhorse population finally revealed itself (in the Oconee River in Georgia in 1991).”
- http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/InNews/extincthorse2005.html

“Scientists have rediscovered one of the great birds of America, feared extinct for 60 years - a find hailed by scientists as being comparable to the reappearance of the dodo.
The ivory-billed woodpecker, believed to have disappeared along with the passenger pigeon and the Carolina parakeet, has been seen in the Big Woods region of Arkansas by at least eight people.
The woodpecker was one of six American species thought to have disappeared in the past 125 years. The last confirmed sighting had been in 1944.
Today a team of ornithologists and conservationists report in the online edition of Science that they have drawings and video footage of the bird's unmistakable plumage.
"This is not any old bird. This is a really special creature, America's largest woodpecker, the third largest in the world; spectacularly beautiful," said John Fitzpatrick, the director of Cornell University's laboratory of ornithology. "It is legendary, it is mysterious, it has been a majestic symbol of the old forests of the American south."
Alistair Gammell of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said: "This bird's rediscovery is not quite like finding the dodo, but it comes very, very close. Thrillingly, we now have a chance to save this magnificent species."“
- http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,5182227-111492,00.html

“The call of the rare Sumatran ground cuckoo, which was widely believed extinct until a decade ago, has been recorded for the first time, the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society said on Monday.
Recognizing a bird's call is a vital tool of science as it is often the only way for ornithologists in the field to identify elusive forest-dwelling birds.
A team of WCS biologists managed to record the bird's call -- a piercing two-syllable shriek -- after it was caught by a trapper who handed it over to them.
A fairly large and striking bird with a long tail, green plumage and blue facial markings, it is found only in the remote jungles of the tropical Indonesian island of Sumatra.”
- miniurl

This is ridiculous ... there’s loads more. Who’d have though there’d be so many?

“"The real message of rediscoveries is that we didn't look hard enough in the first place," said Nigel Collar of the British-based conservation group BirdLife International. "We think we've explored the planet when we haven't. We have this assumption that we know it all, but we don't."“
- www.naturescornermagazine.com/NaturesBlog/archives/2006/03/extincta_birds.html

 
MatC
155854.  Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:40 am Reply with quote

Here’s that woodpecker, who proved so hard to spot ...

 
MatC
155855.  Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:41 am Reply with quote

“The ivory-billed woodpecker is also known as the Lord God woodpecker, after the reaction that its magnificent plumage provokes in observers.”
- http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article386515.ece

Hence, poss Q: “Is God dead?”
A: “No, but he used to be.”

 
Gray
155984.  Tue Mar 13, 2007 5:25 am Reply with quote

Unfortunately, some people aren't quite convinced that the ivory-billed woodpecker really was seen, so they've set up a r'robot twitcher' to wait for one. Nothing yet...

http://www.wildlifeextra.com/robot-camera.html

BTW, it took me the best part of a day to remember the word 'almiqui' - incredibly uncuddly little bugger, isn't he!

 
MatC
155986.  Tue Mar 13, 2007 5:28 am Reply with quote

Yes, and somewhow in a disturbingly human way.

Robo-twitcher? Fab!

 
Flash
156858.  Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:37 pm Reply with quote

post 156856 has something on extinctions caused by rabbits in Australia.

 
DELETED
157791.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 6:32 am Reply with quote

DELETED

 
MatC
157809.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 7:27 am Reply with quote

It all raises the question - how do we know when something is extinct? What is the definition? Who is empowered to declare extinction? Are there ever disputes, between scientists who disagree on whether a species is extinct?

 
DELETED
157858.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:14 am Reply with quote

DELETED

 
MatC
157897.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:10 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Isn't it when they're all dead?


Well, no it isn't - because you can't ever know they're all dead. You can say "We haven't seen one for ages, and believe me, we've been looking," but that's not the same as proving a negative.

Hence my question, which still stands: what's the definition of extinct? Is it like with missing people - give 'em seven years, and then you're free to marry again?

 
DELETED
157902.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:15 am Reply with quote

DELETED

 
MatC
157905.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:16 am Reply with quote

Yes, yes, - but what's the definition of extinct?

 
DELETED
157907.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:18 am Reply with quote

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